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Category: Middle East & North Africa

August 24, 2014

By Oryx

Tabqa Airbase Captured by the Islamic State

After encountering some setbacks earlier on, Tabqa airbase finally fell to fighters of the Islamic State today. With only one Pro-Assadist obstacle remaining in Northern Syria, the Islamic State’s territorial continuity in Northern Syria is closer than ever. Tabqa is now the third airbase to have been captured by the Islamic State and is the…

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August 20, 2014

By Eliot Higgins

Attempts to Blame the Syrian Opposition for the August 21st Sarin Attacks Continue One Year On

Over the last year numerous attempts have been made to place the blame for the August 21st Sarin attacks in Damascus on opposition groups, in an attempt to deflect criticism away from the Syrian government. These attempts have come from various sources, but thanks to open source information it’s been possible to debunk these claims…

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August 15, 2014

By Eliot Higgins

Accusations of Cluster Munition Use by the Islamic State in Kurdish Syria

In an article published yesterday on the Arabic language news website ANHA, claims were made by local Kurdish groups in the town of Ayn al-Arab (also know as Kobanê) that during attacks by the Islamic State cluster munitions had been used. They warned against touching the unexploded submunitions, claiming an 11 year old child had been killed while handling one of…

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July 18, 2014

By Eliot Higgins

Evidence of a New Chemical Attack in Syria

Since April 11th multiple chemical barrel bomb attacks have been reported in Syria, with many of them in and around the pro-opposition town of Kafr Zita.  Locals have claimed chlorine gas was used, something that was supported by an investigation by the Daily Telegraph.  Since late May there’s been no reports of chemical attacks until…

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July 17, 2014

By Eliot Higgins

August 21st – The Rebels Did It!

In the weeks and months after the August 21st Sarin attacks in Damascus there have been many theories about oppostion responsibility for the attacks from diverse sources including the conspiracy theorists, a nun, and a Pulitzer Prize winner.  Some of these theories have been repeated by the Syrian government’s allies, in particular Russia, even though key…

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July 16, 2014

By Eliot Higgins

New Heavy Short Range Rockets Deployed By Pro-Syrian Government Forces

A few weeks ago images of a new type of rocket began to appear, reportedly coming from sources close to Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), a Shia paramilitary militia operating in Iraq and Syria. According to sources who provided the pictures, the AAH had named this rocket al-Qahere, with reports that other groups, including Hezbollah, are using the same…

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July 15, 2014

By Eliot Higgins

Identifying Government Positions During The August 21st Sarin Attacks

In the months preceding the August 21st Sarin attack the Syrian military began Operation Al-Qaboun in a region between Jobar and Qaboun, close to the areas attacked in Eastern Ghouta on August 21st. This region has been contested for several months, with government forces controlling bases and checkpoints in the area, but with the opposition controlling much of the area, and Qaboun and Jobar to the north and south.

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